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Canary Wharf

Canary Wharf

Canary Wharf’s rise to prominence has been rapid as the changes to its ever-expanding skyline. Once a derelict industrial estate in West India Quay on the Isle of Dogs, the site is home to London’s second biggest financial district and its first cluster of mega-tall structures.

Such is the scale of development achieved in a mere 30 years, Canary Wharf has come to represent how technology is driving regeneration across the capital’s most dilapidated areas, usually on a massive scale. Today, Canary Wharf has a working population of 120,000, but this is a figure set to double by the late 2020s.

The Wharf isn’t just an isolated commercial outpost its workers travel in to, however; the Docklands’ surrounding residential developments have become some of the most sought-after in the capital. The majority who do opt to commute in – and certainly make the most of it when they’re there – come from all over London, the Home Counties and even Europe, thanks to the wealth of transport options including numerous rail links and City Airport.


Highlights and hidden gems

Who’s there?

The world’s banking bigwigs including HSBC and Barclay’s have global headquarters in Canary Wharf, the former occupying the 42-story 8 Canada Square since 2002, which is also known as the HSBC tower. Several major media organisations are also based within the district, including Thompson Reuters.

 

£100,000

The average annual salary of a worker in Canary Wharf is £100,000

In the area…

Much like its sister financial district, The City of London, business culture very much defines the way people work and play in Canary Wharf. Needless to say, there seems to be an endless run of bars and restaurants within the estate, which is split up by the quays two docks. These range from high-class dining experiences to indie street food pop-ups.

On the fine end of the spectrum is Plateau on the fourth floor of Canada Place, while Giant Robot on top of Crossrail Place is a kind of foodie Mecca akin to Shoreditch’s Box Park or Dinerama. Inside, it’s part street-food market, part night club and part urban fete, with four different food vendors and two separate bars serving till 11pm.

Helping Canary Wharf shake its reputation for being a bit soulless (a little unfair we’d say) are places like Boisedale, a Scottish restaurant and live music venue on Cabot Place, which is great for grabbing a steak, cocktail and round of jazz any night of the week. Keeping up with the lively theme is The Gun and The Merchant, both of which have waterside terraces that come alive in the summer months.

For those looking to slow the pace a bit, walking down to Mudchute Park and Farm off Millwall Docks is a good way to escape the pressures of city life. The park has an urban farm open to the public and 32 acres of green space that is home to a local nature reserve. And for those who prefer to find their inner zen on a treadmill, both Third Space and Reebok Sports Club are state-of-the-art gyms between the North and South Docks.


Canary Wharf prices 

From

£700

Private office

£480

Fixed desks

£350

Hot desks

Guide prices are per desk per month. Correct as of March 2019.

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Did you know?

 

  • The most striking feature of Canary Wharf has to be its skyscrapers. One Canada Square, a tower that stands at 770 feet (235 meters) tall, was the UK’s tallest building for 22 years, surpassed only by The Shard at 1,019 feet tall (309 meters) in 2012. In fact, a further two skyscrapers in Canary Wharf are in the top ten of the highest buildings in the UK, with 8 Canada Square and the Citigroup Center both standing at 656 feet tall (200 meters).
  • Canary Wharf’s peculiar name comes from the area’s former use as a dock – in particular berth number 32 on West Wood Quay, which was built for Fruit Lines Ltd in 1936. Fruit Lines were large importers of fruit from the Mediterranean and Canary Islands and requested the berth’s name be changed to reflect the provenance of its cargo. The same, can’t be said for The Isle of Dogs, however…
  • The Canary Wharf Group manages the 97-acre estate that is home to more than 300 bars, shops, clubs and restaurants, and supports the 37 office buildings squeezed into the space (clue: look up!). The Group helps to host more than 200 live performing arts events across the estate every year, which range from outdoor festivals, art galleries and indoor music concerts.

Nearby areas

Want to see what the wider neighborhood has to offer? Why not read our guides for the nearby areas.

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